Woman hurt at blink-you-miss-it Dalston crossing

Dalston: a young womanwas injured at ped. crossing Dalston Ln Hackney E8 230515
Crossing: Dalston Lane E8 0615 © DavidAltheer@gmail.com
Danger: people tire of waiting for the “Walk” and, top, accident aftermath

A YOUNG WOMAN was hit by a taxi near the pedestrian crossing not far the mural in Dalston Lane E8 3DF today Tuesday 23 June 2015 at about 7.30pm.

She was taken by ambulance to hospital. Her injuries are not life-threatening.

The woman is believed to have been crossing to Ashwin Street— doubt arose when a police press officer referred to the street, next to the pelican crossing, as Ashwin Road.

Drivers have often flouted the ban on turning to the right or left — it has varied — at Ashwin Street.

Sign @ Dalston Lane and Ashwin St London E8 © David Altheer
No turning: but which way?

Buses east and west through Dalston junction were diverted via Kingsland High Street and Ridley Road after the accident, several of them stuck in an area of Dalston Lane cordoned off by the police. Eventually, it dawned on the authorities that this was unnecessary and the double-deckers were belatedly allowed to return to service.

Loving Dalston has been collecting material for a story on the pelican crossing. Transport for London, which controls the street, made the crossing a key feature of changes it made four years ago to boost traffic flow.

The measures included a wide pavement and consequently narrowing of the road for cyclists, who often prefer to use the wide spaces of the pavement, as well as constant changes to the position of the bus stops between Dalston Junction and Beechwood Road.

The changes have been a failure, for cyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicles: jams happen daily. But the most worrying aspect of TfL’s supposed improvements is the pedestrian crossing.

A press of the Walk button takes 90 seconds to switch on the Walk signal. By then, many people, assuming that the timing has failed, have stepped into the

Cycopathic: 2011 TfL changes to Dalston Ln Hackney 100911 © DavidAltheer@gmail.com
Cycopath: wide pavements at CLR James Library tempt safety-seeking cyclists

traffic. Sometimes, the Walk-Don’t walk gap can be more than four minutes.

In any case, people on foot have a fraction more than five seconds when the sign flashes Walk. Not surprisingly, today’s injury at the crossing is not the first.

Elsewhere in Hackney, the times are the same but in most, such as near Hackney Central and Dalston Kingsland railway stations, they are more generous.

The placing of the Walk/Don’t walk signs on the light posts is unusual: walkers often do not see them.

At least one Dalston councillor was warned two years ago about the accident potential of the crossing. The crossing was, however, not made safer.

Age UK last week got big media coverage with research concluding that old people were being put at risk by pelican crossings that failed to give them enough time to cross. “Road crossings,” said the charity, “do not give them time to cross safely.”

If Age UK looks at Hackney crossings, it will find it is not only the elderly who have been endangered by the low crossing times.

Perhaps more Metropolitan Police officers need to be objective about accidents. A Hackneyite told Loving Dalston that when he asked about the Dalston Lane crossing incident, an officer said: “A pedestrian hit a car”. On seeing our informant’s surprise, he quickly amended that to the less biased – and more credible – “A car hit a pedestrian.”

Another informant said she was told by a policeman that no motorist had been arrested. He added, rhetorically: “Of course not. Why would we arrest the driver?”

Hamish Scott 230615

Backstory: Cycopathic changes at Dalston 

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3 thoughts on “Woman hurt at blink-you-miss-it Dalston crossing

  1. This is indeed shocking. Living Streets and the local Hackney group have been campaigning for longer crossing times for pedestrians for years, but we are ignored by TfL, which controls all the traffic-signal crossings in Hackney and who, as you say, are mainly concerned with motor traffic flow to the detriment of pedestrian safety.

    Perhaps this collision will provide an impetus for change.

  2. About time somebody protested publicly about this appallingly pedestrian-unfriendly pelican crossing, which the authorities had the nerve to install in an area where they were already subject to myriad criticisms over controversial planning decisions.

    Has the councillor who was informed of its obvious shortcomings and dangers done anything to get it improved?

    Congratulations on drawing attention to this matter.

    Thank you. The councillor achieved no improvement. I could not reveal a name because I reported the issue at a ward surgery, ie, as a local citizen not as a journalist. I am hoping this article will have some effect. Perhaps we should tweet the URL of this article to all three Dalston councillors. – Ed.

  3. Was hit by the bonnet of a car? Have car bonnets developed a mind of their own?! Or did the driver of a car hit a young woman as she was crossing the road?

    My colleague and I struggled with the phrase, which was used several times by the police. The expression that intrigued us more was that a pedestrian had hit a car, setting off thoughts of vehicles being singlehandedly smashed up with a few neat karate chops. — Ed.

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